Brigalow Belt Garden
Although the Central Queensland Coast Bioregion is the main focus of the Mackay Regional Botanic Gardens, flora from the 'Brigalow Belt' bioregion that surrounds our region to the north, west and south is featured in the Brigalow Belt Garden.
The Brigalow Belt is a major agricultural and pastoral area and coal mining is a significant industry in the Bowen Basin.
The Brigalow Belt takes its name from the Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla), forests and woodland that were characteristic of large areas of this region that average far lower rainfall than Mackay and the surrounding coast and ranges. A variety of other vegetation communities, including Eucalyptus forests and woodland, grassland, vine forest and riverine communities support many different types of plants and animals. The collection in the Brigalow Belt Garden contains representative plants from a number of these communities.
Contouring and carefully placed rocks and boulders have transformed a deep drain into a simulated seasonal creek and the focal centre of an area where plants from neighbouring areas of the Brigalow region can be displayed in a natural setting. As its principal purpose is to carry storm water run-off from the surrounding catchment into the lagoon, there may be times when the pathway along the creek is not accessible to the public. Many of the most attractive and useful plants from the Brigalow Belt are displayed to advantage and so these species may not be seen growing together naturally in the wild.
These are not true dryland plants - these plants can survive heavy summer rainfall or even temporary inundation and are often found along creeklines and watercourses in the Brigalow Belt areas adjacent to our region. Storms, cyclones and even flooding from rains that fell hundreds of kilometres away can transform these areas from the dry season browns into lush, greens almost overnight.
These are plants to choose for your garden if you are after tough species that require little watering. Some are best suited for large gardens, or deep inside garden beds. Others are smaller plants suited to most gardens.